An Exploration of the Viewpoints of Parents and Nurses on Care Provision in Neonatal Intensive Care Units

Document Type: Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran

2 Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing Department, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Fulbright Scholar and Professor at Florida State University, College of Nursing


Background: Infants are regarded as a vulnerable group in need of nursing care, particularly during NICU admission. Parents of these infants often experience emotional, psychological and physical upheavals. Therefore, nurses can be of great help to the parents and facilitate a healthy transition from this period. Improper communication with parents, who seek information on their infant’s condition, intensifies their stress, fear and misunderstanding. In fact, inadequate communication with healthcare providers and lack of family support are major issues for the parents of NICU-admitted infants.
Methods: In this qualitative study, via content analysis, we objectively selected and collected data from parents, physicians and nurses, residing in Isfahan, Iran in 2012. Data saturation was reached after conducting 25 in-depth, semi-structured interviews.
Results: Based on the findings, five major categories were extracted: 1) care provision in NICUs; 2) diagnostic difficulties; 3) NICU admission process; 4) challenges of hospitalization; and 5) maintenance of infant viability.
Conclusion: Nurses’ proper response to parents’ questions about the infant's condition reduced stress among parents. Based on the findings, training is essential to healthy family dynamics and infant’s well-being, particularly for younger parents who support their infants at home. Also, regular updates on infant’s condition could help reduce parents’ stress and discomfort.


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